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5 Top Tips to get Outdoors this Winter

(and Enjoy it)

Daylight hours are in short supply, the weather’s unreliable at its best, unpleasant at its worst, plus there’s the best TV programming of the year not to be missed. The winter seems like the perfect time to hunker down and hibernate.

Hold on a moment, though. There is a lot going on outdoors that’s not to be missed. Big dramatic skies, achingly beautiful sunsets, carpets of golden leaves on forest floors and much more wildlife than you might expect.

Keep reading for 5 top tips to inspire you to make the most of the outdoors this winter.

#1 Keep Warm


Feeling that it’s cold without being cold has got to be one of the best feelings. Just because the temperature’s dropped doesn’t mean that being outdoors has to be unpleasant or that you have to be cold.

Go Ape customer in a woolly hat during winter

First up, clothing. And the key here is layers that’ll allow you to adjust what you’re wearing and your comfort as you go. Then think extremities, take a woolly hat, gloves, and scarf to keep out the chill. Finally, take an extra layer with you, plus not enough can be said for a spare change of clothes in the car.

If you stop to admire the view, throw on an extra layer. Your core temperature will drop when you stop. Even better, take a flask with a hot drink to warm you from the inside. Remember, food is fuel for your body like wood on a fire, put some in, and you’ll feel warmer.

#2 Fire

Whilst we're on the subject, fires aren't just for roasting marshmallows on summer camping adventures. Winter is a brilliant time to spark a fire and enjoy the season outdoors without being chilled to the bone.

Remember, there are rules to follow in the UK when it comes to fire. You can't just head down to your local woods and get one going. Private gardens are your best bet, and if you're not up for sacrificing your lawn, then pick up a fire pit. Loads are available, like this foldable BBQ from our friends at Go Outdoors. It doubles up as a brilliant little fire pit and folds away for storage or to take on summer camping trips. If you've got a bigger budget, check out this range of impressive setups from Black Country Metal Works.

Another great option to enjoy a fire is incorporating a stop at a traditional pub into your day outdoors. Between windblown walks and icy adventures, there's nothing quite like a warm pasty and a glass of the local tipple by an open fire. Find a good'un with the Good Pub Guide.

#3 Do Something Active

Let’s be realistic; outdoor excursions in the winter months are bound to be shorter, which lends itself perfectly to something active. Pick an activity to get your heart rate up and your blood pumping to beat those winter chills.

Cycling is an excellent option alone or as a family; you can head through a city park, find some country lanes or meander along forest trails. To find the nearest off-road cycle routes, check out the Forestry England website.

girl in a green jacket on a Go Ape crossing in winter



#4 the Twilight Zone


Shorter daylight hours provide an excellent opportunity to become crepuscular, that’s a creature that’s active in the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. Now that it’s winter, you don’t have to be awake at a horrendous hour of the morning, nor a night owl, to enjoy this spectacle.

Winter sunset viewed along a Go Ape zip wire

Any winter day is good for this, but if you find one of those cold, clear mornings, you’ll likely be rewarded with an environment glazed in frost or even a fresh dusting of snow. Forests are exceptional in this guise, but even an urban walk to the local park becomes a magical experience.

At the other end of the day, you can catch stunning sunsets, with silhouettes of leafless trees and long shadows dressing the trail. Both sunrise and sunset are great for spotting wildlife in winter. Barn owls become ever bolder to hunt in daylight as their prey becomes rarer, foxes are on the hunt for a mate, and it’s the best time of day to encounter deer.

#5 After Dark Adventures

We love an after-dark adventure at Go Ape! Each autumn, we launch our Sundown Sessions, and if you happen to live in the right place (or you’re willing to travel), you might find that you can still take part.

With so much night to explore in winter, we dare you to embrace it and head into the outdoors after the sun has set. This can feel a little unnerving at first, but after that initial fear passes, you’ll realise just how fantastic an experience it is. Your senses will heighten, you can see more than you think, and you’ll start to soak in the world around you in a whole new way.

On a clear night, you’ll have the moonlight to illuminate your path and the Milky Way in all its glory above your head. The landscape frames the night sky dramatically. Then there are the extra-memorable experiences you can only discover at night, like tawny owls hooting to each other through the woodland.

We recommend starting on a trail you’re familiar with. Just in case, take a torch and a phone, but try not to use them. If you’re feeling nervous, or just like the company, then take a friend, and it is a good idea to let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to be back.

Are you ready to get outdoors this winter?

Take me to Go Ape winter adventures